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Abortion Plan Gets Close But Loses Again, 11/10/1995

By Editorial Staff
Published November 10, 1995

Doctor Revamps Application And Almost Gets To Open Office

By Dan Tracy of The Sentinel Staff

A Maryland doctor won, then lost the right Thursday – both on technicalities – to perform abortions near downtown Orlando.

The reversal came partly because of the persistence of an abortion opponent, who questioned city officials about the amount of time a woman needs to recover from the procedure.

Here’s what happened:

Dr. James Pendergraft late Wednesday was approved by the city to open an abortion practice after changing the way he described his business.

Instead of calling his enterprise a “clinic,” he referred to it as an “office,” allowing him to meet city zoning requirements and open as soon as possible.

Clinics, by city definition, offer procedures where patients might require several hours of recovery, as opposed to offices, where clients generally leave without complications.

Pendergraft, through attorney Sheila Moylan of Miami, provided the city with five affidavits from two doctors and three clinic managers saying that women undergoing an abortion recover within 30 minutes on average.

But Deborah Shearer, director of the Catholic Diocese of Orlando’s Respect Life office, told the city that some abortions are too complicated to allow a patient to recover and leave within an hour, which would violate the city’s zoning laws.

“This is not minor surgery. They’re not extracting a tooth,” Shearer said.

After learning the city’s permission had been revoked, Shearer said, “All we’re doing is acting responsibly. . . . It’s unfortunate they went ahead and approved this without researching it.”

Neither Pendergraft nor his attorneys could be reached Thursday.

Orlando first blocked Pendergraft, an obstetrician and gynecologist, from opening two months ago by denying him a conditional use permit.

He needed that document because he sought to open what he said was a clinic in an area just south of City Hall reserved for medical offices and residences.

By rewriting his request and paying a $110 fee, Pendergraft appeared to have avoided what promised to be an expensive and lengthy court battle to try and force the city into approving his business.

But city officials revoked his permit to open after deciding Thursday afternoon that they needed more information on recovery times.

“We’re not medical doctors here,” City Attorney Bob Hamilton said. “It’s a tense issue and we want to be sure of what we are doing.”

No one was certain how long the city would take before deciding whether to re-approve or continue blocking Pendergraft’s proposal.

Shearer and several Lucerne Terrace business owners have predicted the facility would attract traffic congestion, pickets and violence, as has happened at abortion clinics in Melbourne and Pensacola.

Such complaints were among the reasons Orlando officials nixed Pendergraft’s initial application. They argued his business would have a “detrimental” effect on Lucerne Terrace properties.

Shearer is trying to halt the planned opening by sifting through Pendergraft’s paperwork at City Hall, looking for inconsistencies or mistakes.

Greater Orlando now has three abortion clinics.


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Freedom: The Model of Christian Liberty (DVD)

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Abortion Clinic 911 Calls (DVD)

Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!

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Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.

Watch these pro-life videos on-line.

“These videos helped change my mind from pro-choice to pro-life. Your videos are what did it for me. I will be walking in next year’s March For Life in San Francisco.” — A. Jackson, California

“I was going to have an abortion until I saw your video. Praise Jesus!”
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Download the free Study Guide!

Is there a connection between pagan religion and the abortion industry?

This powerful presentation traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God and crime against humanity has produced in our beleaguered society.

Conceived as a sequel and update to the 1988 classic, The Massacre of Innocence, the new title, The Abortion Matrix, is entirely fitting. It not only references abortion’s specific target – the sacred matrix where human beings are formed in the womb in the very image of God, but it also implies the existence of a conspiracy, a matrix of seemingly disparate forces that are driving this holocaust.

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As the allusion to the film of over a decade ago suggests, the viewer may learn that things are not always as they appear to be. The Abortion Matrix reveals the reality of child-killing and strikes the proper moral chord to move hearts to fulfill the biblical responsibility to rescue those unjustly sentenced to death and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves (Proverbs 24:11,12; 31:8,9).

Speakers include: George Grant, Peter Hammond, RC Sproul Jr., Paul Jehle, Lou Engle, Rusty Thomas, Flip Benham, Janet Porter and many more.

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Running Time: 195 minutes

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The Abortion Matrix DVD: Update

The Abortion Matrix:
Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death

is a 195-minute presentation that traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God has produced. You can order this series on DVD, read the complete script and view clips on-line...
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